Transitional National Council in Libya

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Transitional National Council in Libya

Transitional National Council in Libya in 2011

United States views on international law (based on the document “Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law”): On July 15, 2011, the United States recognized the TNC as the “legitimate governing authority” in Libya and stated that it no longer recognized the regime of Muammar Qadhafi. In a special briefing, excerpted below and available in full at (internet link), State Department officials explained how the TNC qualified for such recognition. Secretary Clinton also announced the recognition of the TNC as the government of Libya in remarks to the press, available at (internet link)


So we have been taking steps progressively over the course of the past few months to increase the U.S. engagement with the TNC to understand better its functions, its purposes, its objectives, and how it’s acting in its capacity as a representative of the Libyan people. . . .

And then today, we took the additional step, as you …have seen, of stating that until an interim authority is in place, we will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority of Libya and deal with them on that basis and that we no longer recognize the Qadhafi regime as having any legitimate governing authority.

. . . [W]e’ve come to increasingly understand better and grow more comfortable with their stated commitments and efforts thus far to live up to those commitments, and we heard a number of assurances from them, both publicly and privately over the past several days, including their outline of a roadmap and a presentation today on the future of Libya and how they see the transition unfolding.

Those assurances go to issues like upholding their international obligations, pursuing a democratic reform process that is inclusive both in the geographic and in the political sense and dispersing any funds under their control in a transparent manner for the benefit of all the Libyan people.

And so one of the first predicates for us moving to the next step of recognizing them as the legitimate governing authority for this interim period was the statements and actions that they’ve taken to date. We’ll continue to watch closely how they perform their functions moving forward both in terms of providing for those parts of Libya under their control and as they work through a political process and an eventual post-Qadhafi Libya.


Finally, I would say that there is a practical consequence to this step of recognition, which is that we expect it will allow us to help the TNC access additional funds, and we are consulting with the TNC and working through a number of technical and legal details internally, and we’re also consulting with the U.S. international partners on both the most effective and appropriate method for helping the TNC access those funds. So that’s where we are.

The Contact Group as a whole has embraced the proposition that participants of the Contact Group will deal with the TNC as the legitimate governing authority of Libya until a new interim authority is in place, and that like us, they view the Qadhafi regime as not having any legitimate governing authority in Libya at this time. So this is not merely a statement by the United States of the U.S. position with respect to this issue, but a reflection of a growing international consensus about the way forward. . . .

More about the Issue

After the death of Qadhafi (on October 20) and the TNC’s announcement that the country had been liberated (on October 23), the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted on October 27, 2011, to lift the no-fly zone over Libya and end operations to protect civilians there, as authorized by Resolution 1973. On October 27, Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, addressed the Security Council on the adoption of Resolution 2016 lifting the no-fly zone. Excerpts from her remarks follow. The full text is available at

Transitional National Council in Libya in 2011

United States views on international law (based on the document “Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law”): We are quite pleased that the Security Council has unanimously passed Resolution 2016, terminating the protection of civilians and no-fly zone authorizations that were contained in historic Resolution 1973. This has been quite an extraordinary period of activity for the Security Council, as well as for the United States, NATO, and Arab partners who participated in the enforcement of Resolution 1973.

And today, many months later, we have the prospect for a free and inclusive Libya, in which the aspirations of the Libyan people can finally be realized in the wake of the transition that’s underway. We’re very concerned that, as we move forward, that the authorities make maximum effort to swiftly form an inclusive government that incorporates all aspects of Libyan society, and in which the rights of all Libyan people are fully and thoroughly respected, regardless of their gender, their religion, their region of origin, et cetera. But for the United States, and, I think, for the United Nations Security Council, this closes what I think history will judge to be a proud chapter in the Security Council’s history, and an experience where it acted promptly and effectively to prevent mass slaughter in Benghazi and other parts of the east, and to effectively protect civilians over the course of the last many months.

Transitional National Council in Libya

In relation to the international law practice and Transitional National Council in Libya in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:

Treaty Affairs

About this subject:

Conclusion, Entry Into Force, Reservations, Application, and Termination

. Note: there is detailed information and resources, in relation with these topics during the year 2011, covered by the entry, in this law Encyclopedia, about The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement


See Also

  • Diplomatic Relations
  • Succession
  • Continuity Of States
  • Statehood Issues
  • Status Issues
  • Libya

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